Brian Tatler Interview, guitarist for Heavy Metal Legends Diamond Head.

In this interview…

  • Brian Tatler talks about the current Diamond Head news.
  • Brian talks about the last Diamond Head album.
  • We talk about current reworking the old tunes and playing live.
  • Recording equipment today versus the classic gear.
  • Brian talks about his classic Gibson guitars.
  • How to emulate the perfect Marshall amplifier.
  • Jimi Hendrix if he played with equipment of today how great it would be.
  • Tatler talks about his autobiography Am I Evil?.
  • Writing the classic song Am I Evil?
  • Metallica making Helpless, Am I Evil?, The Prince and other big hits.

Transcription of the interview with Brian Tatler.

Jason Saulnier: Brian Tatler, how’s it going with you and Diamond Head these days?
Brian Tatler: Well, we’re really busy this year. Things have turned into, you know,  a busy time for Diamond Head. We had a couple years where we were quite quiet, like in 2008 and 2009. We had some gigs and stuff but this year it all seems to be coming together. First of all, we got offered Sonisphere in the UK and then Sonisphere France we did with Metallica and the Big 4 and all that. It was fantastic. Then we got offered 2 dates in Canada – Toronto and Montreal. And then we sorted out this American tour through a booking agent in the US and so we’re shortly going to be doing a 17-date US tour starting in Seattle on August the 15th, so it’s all looking pretty good at the moment.

JS: Do we have anything new lined up for, you know, a release – an album of some sort?
BT: No, we haven’t really been doing any new material. The last album came out in 2007 and that’s pretty much the last thing we’ve done. We’ve done bits of music and things and I’ve got a little Pro tools rig at home, so I still put ideas down for something, whether it be a Diamond Head album or some other project, but we haven’t really gotten a chance to put any vocals on it yet and move forward with it. Usually, it seems to me now that when we get together, it’s to rehearse for some tour or festival or something like that, and we tend to rework in old tunes from time to time. We just put Dead Reckoning back into the set, and we haven’t done that since 1982; so that all takes time really, and you end up running out of time trying to do any new songs. That kinda goes out the window a bit.

JS: On your take on recordings like today, what do you think of the technology compared to what you used to record with?
BT: Well I think the editing is what I really like about today’s technology. I mean I think it’s cheaper as well. Studio’s cheaper and you can do things at home in fantastic digital qualities. You know, 24-bit. That you could never do. Years ago, the best you could get was like a little 4-track, like a cassette like a Tascam, or you might have a Teac reel-to-reel 4-track if you’ve got the money. They were like about a thousand pounds or something, and that had 4 tracks, whereas I’ve got Pro tools LE which cost me about 250 quid and it’s 32 track digital! And you can edit. You know, you can chop arrangements, so I think it’s awesome for that – the way you can rearrange a song in the box, you know, in the PC. Years ago if you decided to change the arrangements, you’d either have to re-record the whole song or you’d have to get your razor blade out. And now of course you can just do it with a mouse, and try, and if you don’t like it you can undo, and things like that. So I think for that purpose it’s absolutely brilliant. You can quantize and move things and put things into tune and into time – things that you could never have done 25 years ago. I still think some of the best records ever made though were made in the 70s and probably some of the 80s. So it’s not like the quality has outstripped some of the great bands or anything or the great albums. I still think you need a great band to go in the studio, but I think the technology does help and probably saves time.